The Pew Internet and American Life Project released its Generations Online in 2009 (PDF) report yesterday, breaking down how different generations are using the Internet — and it’s not all dour news for the older set.
As you would imagine, Generation Y (ages 18 -32) has the highest percentage of people using the web for watching and downloading videos, but the old folks are catching on and aren’t that far behind. The same percentage of Generation Xers (ages 33 – 44) and online teens (ages 12 – 17) watch online videos, and almost half of Young Boomers (ages 45 – 54) watch online video.
The demos are even more closely aligned when it comes to who is downloading video, with teens and Xers tied at 31 percent — just seven points shy of Generation Y’s 38 percent.
This study is a good starting point, but Pew is just skimming the surface without finding out how often each group is watching online videos, how long they spend watching and what types of video they watch.
There’s been a bevy of recent research on age and online video consumption recently. A Multichannel News series reported that the average age of a CNN live stream viewer was 47.7. A Deloitte study found Millennials (ages 14 – 25) spend more time with media per week, but less time with television. And in November Knowledge Networks reported that 12 percent of U.S. teens and 11 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds watch online TV at least once a week, respectively, as compared to 4 percent of 35- to 64-year-olds.